It felt like a day of activism at Seattle Central right down to the contingent of bike cops called out to “protect your First Amendment fights” — and keep traffic moving. Seattle Central College professor Carl Livingston led a light hearted march of faculty and staff from the school’s Egyptian Theater across campus Thursday morning to start a yearlong celebration of the institution’s 50 years on Capitol Hill.
With a legacy of activism stretching from civil rights to labor to WTO to Occupy to anti-fascists, the school for 16,336* students in the heart of Capitol Hill chose to begin its celebration marking the college’s dedication to social justice.
Seattle Central was “born of social activism and protest” school president Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange told the crowd during the march and rally and Mayor Ed Murray’s director of education Dwane Chappelle read a proclamation from the city declaring Thursday Seattle Central College Day to honor its role helping “to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of students and their families.
While professor Livingston led chants of “Central to… THE COMMUNITY… Central to… THE COMMUNITY,” others took the opportunity to engage in some honest to goodness activism. Members of the school’s Basic and Transitional Studies Tutoring Program held up “20 does not equal 15” signs protesting their requirement to be on the hook for five more hours of instructional time for what the group told CHS was the same level of pay others received for fewer hours of work — a demonstration, for sure, of some of that activist spirt the school was celebrating.